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5 Common Fence Problems and How to Fix Them

Fences add benefits and appeal to a landscape. But when components of the fence start to fail or discolor, that beautiful look may be lost. Here are six common fence problems and simple solutions to fix them.

1. Rotting Wood

Wooden fences are natural, blend in well with the landscape, and are aesthetically pleasing. These characteristics all make wooden fences a solid choice for homeowners. But one of the biggest drawbacks to be aware of is that they are prone to wood rot. Wood rot occurs when moisture is allowed to seep into the wood. Wood rot can happen with any wooden structure, but fences are more vulnerable because the bottom part rests in the ground. Wood rot eventually leads to decay and fence failure.

Tips for Repairing and Preventing Wood Rot

If you notice wood rot on a wooden fence, it’s important to remove the affected parts from the rest of the fence, because wood rot spreads. You can then splice another piece of wood onto the post and attach it with a metal bracket so the post regains its length. To prevent wood rot from happening in the first place, purchase only treated wooden fencing. The treatment makes the wood moisture resistant. Also, seal your wooden fence at least annually, with a commercial sealant. Do what’s possible to prevent fence posts from sitting in standing water. You may have to grade your land so rainwater pools away from the fence.

2. Loose Fence Posts

Loose fence posts usually happen when the soil around the post erodes or the concrete footing cracks. This common fence problem may also happen if the connector holding the fence post in place has loosened or failed. A loose fence post can cause abutting posts to start leaning, so you should always resolve this problem as soon as possible.

Maintaining and Repairing Fence Post Connections and Footings

Examine the fence post connector to see if it just needs to be tightened. If a screw has been stripped, reinforce the connection with rope or wire.

If the soil has been eroded at the footing, you’ll need to add more soil and compact it around the bottom of the post. Consider pouring concrete into the footing area to reinforce it even more. A cracked concrete footing will need more poured cement. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding curing time.

3. Mildewed or Stained Fence

Both wooden and vinyl fences can become stained with mildew over time. This occurs when conditions are ripe for mildew growth, which is a combination of moisture, shade and of course presence of mildew fungus. It’s common on fencing that runs alongside shrubbery or beneath shady trees, where sunlight doesn’t land. Mildew is a precursor for wood rot, so take care of it early on to protect your fence.

Cleaning and Preserving the Appearance of Your Fencing Materials

Pressure washing will get rid of most mildew from wood fencing. Avoid using chemicals, especially bleach. Both can discolor the fence or seep into the wood fibers and make it challenging to obtain a uniform color when you go to paint or seal it. The finishing step after the fence is completely dry is to seal or paint, if it’s wood. This will keep mildew at bay for about a year or more. Vinyl fences can’t be painted, but the original color should be restored with the power washing.

4. Broken Board

Broken or cracked boards on a wooden fence not only mar the appearance but can also pose a safety hazard, especially when the fence is there for safety reasons, such as a pool enclosure.

Replacing a Broken Board and Ensuring a Seamless Integration

Remove the broken board. You may have to use a pry bar, hammer or drill, if the hardware is rusted or stripped. Prepare a replacement board. You can find these at most hardware or construction material stores. Be sure to match the length, width and depth, as well as the profile. Seal the new board with a moisture retardant. It’s a good idea to do this even if the board comes pre-sealed. Another coat will help protect your investment even more. Affix the new board into place, making sure it aligns with the rest of the fence. Paint or stain to match the rest of the fence.

5. Leaning Fence

A leaning fence may be caused by shifting soil, strong winds or poor installation. If the fence is still under warranty, contact the company to see if they will fix the problem. Otherwise:

Addressing Leaning Fence Panels and Ensuring Proper Alignment

Walk the fence line to see if the entire fence is leaning or just a section. Manually straighten the fence panel, if possible. This may require more than one person. When it’s back into position, hold it in place while you prepare the braces. Use metal braces or additional posts to reinforce the fence panel into the correct position. If the leaning is severe, or affects several panels, consult a professional for assistance.

Addressing Fence Woes the Right Way

A fence is more than just a boundary for your property; it’s a testament to the love and care you pour into your home. While every fence, whether wooden or metal, will inevitably face one or more of the issues listed above, the solutions provided here ensure that homeowners can address these problems effectively. With a little effort and timely intervention, maintaining a fence’s aesthetic and functional appeal is entirely achievable.

At Fence Outlet, we believe that a well-maintained fence speaks volumes about the homeowner’s dedication to preserving their home’s integrity and beauty. Whether you opt for a hands-on DIY approach or seek expert assistance, remember that every fence, with the right care, can stand tall and proud for years to come. 

Be sure to contact us if you have any questions related to your fencing Problems.